Mom accused of driving impaired with toddler in car

A mother is behind bars in Marion County, accused of driving under the influence while her 2-year-old daughter slept in a car seat in the back seat.

Tosha Kessinger, 26, faces charges including child neglect and DUI.

The Marion County Sheriff’s Office said someone called them about a possible drunk driver on Baseline Road Wednesday night. An incident report said a deputy got behind Kessinger’s vehicle.

“And observed it cross the center lane, going in and out of their lane of traffic,” said James Pogue, a spokesman for the Sheriff’s Office. “So, they conducted a traffic stop.”

The incident report said Kessinger failed several sobriety tests. The report said she told a deputy she was on a medication. Kessinger was arrested.

Pogue said, “It’s not unheard of, but unfortunately it does seem to be becoming more popular and more prevalent in our community.”

David Ocasio, Public Information Officer for the Central Region of the Department of Children and Families told FOX 35, “We have commenced the case and will gather more information regarding the mother who is currently incarcerated.  The child is with her dad and unharmed.” 

The incident report said at the jail, Kessinger passed the breathalyzer test but later admitted to taking a type of medication. Sheriff’s deputies told FOX 35 that she was impaired, possibly by a medication or narcotic

Pogue said, “Our children are precious cargo, and they’re the most important. If you’re going to drink, don’t drive. If you’re going to take any type of narcotic or anything that might impair your abilities, make sure your children are with a grandparent or babysitter.”

Kessinger has a criminal history including a previous DUI charge and probation violations.